THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 491

“Don’t look at me this way!” Labaguette mutters, “you’re staring.  I’m a parrot, not game nor fish,” he adds, in a panic, “look for someone your size, tyrant!”

“What are you hiding?” Captain Sunblast asks with a sceptical grin, looking at the scattered debris behind Labaguette.

Then Birdseye steps between them:

“Thou shall not pass.  You are a Knight, behave like one.”

“Birdseye, I—”

But Captain Clusterflame interferes.  After all, he is the twelfth boy in a family of thirteen.  He may be a cosmonaut and a defender but mostly, he is a fighter, a leader in the making: after all these years, he has acquired and accumulated strength of body and mind, all pent up within his fists, because when it comes down to it, a good old fight is what brings him closer to home, to earth, to his country.  He is familiar with pre-empting his own defence mechanisms.  He shoves Birdseye aside unceremoniously before pinching Labaguette with two fingers, lifting him up to eye level, threatening the parrot’s life with his spare, ginormous fist.

“That’s enough!” Captain StarCrusher orders, wishing his competitive colleague wouldn’t resort to his usual impulsive tricks and that Captain Sunblast’s wimpy stance will one day allow him to lead this unstable trio.

“And what have we here?” Captain Sunblast asks, collecting the debris of a time capsule, as Captain Clusterflame drops Labaguette onto the floor, turning one hundred and eighty degree, and walking to Captain Starcrusher to stage a dark staring contest until death does them apart.

“You’re mistaken,” the King-Fool attempts, all puzzled eyes turning to him, “this universe is the same, there has been no time travelling, it is obvious, can’t you see?”

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 490

“We’ve experienced a technical glitch,” Captain Sunblast says.

“Already?” Captain Traumatic asks, in a daze.

“Our instruments display time zone -2,417,498,557,393,619”

“There were no zeroes then, right?” the King-Fool snarls.

“The instruments are unlikely to be wrong but, to be sure, we’re simply going to reset the clock and refresh the Wi-Fi, that should do it.  But for this, you must all come inside and this includes you Captain Anectodick.  We’ve no choice.  Such time travelling will leave your bodies’ particles disintegrated and hanging in space.  Reconstitution will become impossible.”

“Some science, huh?” Labaguette remarks, “It can only be your instruments’ mistake.  How would you explain us four to be alive otherwise?”

“For safety’s sake, you’ve no choice but to come inside.”

“Suppose we did get back all that time and we made it as you see us?” the King-Fool suggests.

“We’re heroes,” Birdseye says, “our particles are malleable, flexible, transformable and transformed.  We can sustain—”

“—Gobbledygook.  You’re artists, the whole lot of you.”

“We’re in the past as per your instruments point out,” Captain Traumatic insists, “I know and that is all there is to it.”

A single but heavy pearl of sweat finds its way down a line on the side of the Captain’s Sunblast nose as he walks, exasperated, towards Labaguette, determined to lead by example.  If the crew isn’t coming, the crew shall come to me,” Captain Sunblast thinks, adamant he should get hold of that stupid parrot and strangle it if circumstances allow it.

As it is, Labaguette stands awkwardly, as if in a balancing act, switching his weight from one leg to the other.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 488

“He’ll see it as mutiny.”

“The Captain is bored beyond belief.  He needs shaken up and surprised, can’t you see?”

“It is unwise,” Birdseye hesitates.

“Not so unwise,” the Captain says, rising, “not so unwise,” before falling back onto the Insatiable Princess’s deck, snoring.

“There is only one way forward,” the King-Fool says, “all we need to do is to untie the ship from the shuttle.  The Captain will be grateful but for now, he can’t be seen to be taking part in it.  Shove more Rum into his gob Labaguette.”

“Ay, Ay, oui, oui, oui.”

Then Birdseye decides to open his humongous wings and flaps them as if to dry them before closing them again.  At the same time, small oval objects, three to be exact, fall onto the ship’s deck.

“I’ll be damned!” Labaguette exclaims as he lands beside them, “you stole them?”

“I steal not,” Birdseye says, “these are not my doing.”

“But you brought them?”

“I did not.  I saw them.  That is all I did.”

“King-Fool, you are full of surprises.  That is a marvellous idea!”

“I would like to take credit for it but, feathery friend, but I’ve no pockets to hold them and not my hat nor my mouth are large enough to contain them.”

Labaguette stares at the Captain who has plunged into the deepest slumber.  The King-Fool may be a bit of a magician and a trickster, but he is incapable of such miracle.  Still, there are no miracles Labaguette then thinks, only mysterious circumstances and large creature birds who work in mysterious ways.  Birdseye has his reasons, his ways and that is all he reasons.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 486

As the shuttle’s engines warm up and Captain Traumatic looks through its thick window, his suspicions are confirmed: Labaguette is flying erratically inside the shuttle, the King-Fool is skipping from one foot to the other, gesticulating, shaking his wand and Birdseye is looking at the door’s latch intently, perhaps in an attempt to open it with the power of his own thoughts, no doubt hoping someone will free the Insatiable Princess’ crew from that overwhelming claustrophobia, as if they were trapped in a small box in the middle of universes, for ever and ever and ever.

Within less than a second, the Captain is knocking that door with an iron bar with all his might, his Viking blood boiling up to the surface.  Outraged his ship could be damaged by a human in space who defies the laws of nature of all kinds, the shuttle’s commandant reluctantly opens the door and frees the strange, rebellious and indomitable crew until, eventually, the shuttles gains in speed, the Insatiable Princess secured to its flank, with a crew enjoying every minute of galactic space winds, drinking some, grateful they are on their way back to Earth, at last.

As they reach a speed that is all too comfortable, they find that seconds, minutes, hours, days and nights pass by unaltered, with the same routine and patterns: they sleep, wake up, drink, attend to the sails, to polishing and re-polishing the Insatiable Princess’ woods, then drink some more before getting back to their restless dreams, where battles, tirades and conflicts abound, where their blood run free and alive.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 485

“You will be a hero.”

“I know that, I’ve always known it.  Always said so.  See Captain?  For my country.”

“Labaguette, anyone looking at you can read you like a book.  And remember: my country is yours too, it adopted you” the Captain says.

“My heart cannot be divided and that is why I will be a hero.”

“Your heart contains a multitude.  This isn’t about you Labaguette.  Captain Starcrusher, can we use a time capsule to propel us out of here?”

“It doesn’t work that way.  We shall look at them.  I shall explain some more but it is time to go.

And so, preparations are swift.  The euphoria of the knighthood, dampened by Birdseye’s doomsday’s visions of their future, even if quashed in part by the time capsule potential predictive intervention, subsides and the Insatiable Princess is secured to the shuttle’s flank.

But Captain Traumatic is reluctant to step inside the shuttle.

“You must come inside,” Captain Starcrusher insists, “or else the forces at play when we time travel will leave you behind and reduce you to dust.”

“I must look after the Insatiable Princes.  If she can survive, so can I.”

“Well—”

“—You’re not intending to leave her behind are you?  You’d better get it into your head that she’s a survivor.  What proof do you need, you’re without helmet and you survive, do you not?”

“Very well Captain.  Labaguete, this kingly Fool and Birdseye are all inside.”

“They’re only curious.  They’ve never seen a ship like yours before.”

“Are you not the least interested?”

“A ship’s a ship.  My crew will get bored the minute you close the door on them.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 482

“Yes.  Yes.  I’m alive,” Captain Sunblast utters, touching his head, arms and legs as if he expected to explode at any moment while Labaguette rolls his eyes under the relieved yet guarded watch of Captains Starcrusher and Clusterflame.

“I shall endeavour to make planet Earth great again to help spreading the word over the whole wide world and beyond, promote the benefits of my organic Rum trade and resolve timing issues, backward and forward, you have my word.”

“Juré, craché ” Labaguette mutters, spitting over the Captain’s shoulder.

“Your turn, Captain Starcrusher,” Captain Traumatic insists, “be brave, be courageous and you shall be Knight of Mine, a Knight of the Order.  Your speeding pledge is—”

“—not speeding but speeding gear if I may, I wish for the speed instruments to be the greatest, to allow travel through the time wall and beyond.”

Captain Traumatic’s swords once more descends softly on the cosmonaut’s helmet, cracking it open.

“—And I shall do all that is in my power to help you with speeding and all that it entails,” he says, “including defending you against universal roaming cops.  Time will no longer be a speeding factor and we shall not grow old while Rum will abound and flow for ever as I will prosper.”

“I,… I live,” Captain Starcrusher says, puzzled yet smiling.

“You Sir,” Captain Traumatic says turning to Captain Clusterflame, “wish to make your country great.  Which country have you got in mind?”

“Roamers, fools, colourful and imperfect creatures of all kinds shall be expunged from my country’s soil and re-directed to where they belong in order to protect the natural order of things and beyond.”

“Redirected to a space program?”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 480

“The Insatiable Mermaid is no more.  She earned her title of Princess through hard work and enduring loyalty.”

“She’s a ship.”

“Note that the Captain forgot his name eons ago,” the Fool remarks, beaming, “he forgot it but he is now forgetting it on purpose.  As to the Insatiable Princes we—”

“—Suppose I did.  Suppose I forgot my name.  What do you want from me?” Captain Traumatic asks.

“We’ve orders to bring you back to Earth.”

“I’m a pirate.  I am the proud owner of the most indomitable, rebellious and nomadic soul there is.”

“Is it Moi?” Labaguette asks.

“Shut up fuckwit!” the Captain says.”

“Captain, we must be getting back on the road.  Time is precious when you travel afar.  Time storms abound and these can distract our compasses.  We need to get back to the year we left, give or take a few seconds or a few weeks.”

“And what year was that?” the Fool asks.

“2578.”

“We were there before you,” the Captain remarks, “your time doesn’t suit us.  If you want to take us back to Earth, you take us back to 1602.”

“It could be done but only once we’ve gotten back to our year first.”

“Why?”

“We must take you there with a more appropriate shuttle, one which travels unambiguously backwards in time and one which could contain your ship.”

“Prove you are from Earth,” the Captain says.

“Make me your Knight and let us guide you back to Earth.”

“Well then, first, take your armour or this ludicrous hat off.”

“We wouldn’t be able to survive without this attire, Sir Anectodick.”

“I’ve no such attire and I live.”

“Couldn’t breathe without it.”

“You poor sod, must be a terrible disease.”

To be continued…